Minister: Iraq to boost crude oil production by year's end

Minister Iraq to boost crude oil production by year's end

Oil prices on Tuesday rose to a near one-month high as expectations of a drawdown in US crude and product inventories outweighed news of higher Libyan production.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, together cut supply by about 1.8 million bpd for six months until June, and are considering whether to extend the agreement.

Iraq holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves.

Global benchmark Brent crude had risen 63 cents to $54.80 a barrel by 1000 GMT.

Analysts had expected a decrease of 435,000 barrels, and the build reported by the Energy Information Administration came as a double surprise after trade group the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a 1.8 million-barrel draw late on Tuesday.

According to traders, the balance in the market is being gradually updated, due to which both benchmark oil brands were fixed above Dollars 50 per barrel despite Friday's decline.

An oil derrick and wind turbines stand above the plains north of Amarillo, Texas, U.S., March 14, 2017. OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation agreed late a year ago to cut output by nearly 1.8 MMbbl/d in the first half of 2017 to rein in a global supply overhang and prop up prices. U.S. WTI crude futures gained 27 cents per barrel, to trade at $51.30 per barrel.

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Emerging signs of the stars aligning for tightening of energy supplies helped pull crude oil prices out of a rut with rallies emerging in early Tuesday trading.

Libya's increased oil output "would have a bearish effect, but right now the market is more focused on potential extended cuts" by OPEC, he said.

Rigs targeting crude in the United States increased for an 11th week to 662, the longest run of gains since 2011, according to data from Baker Hughes.

Oman, which does not have much resources compared to its neighbours, has been working hard to increase production in the past few years, particularly through using enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. "Once U.S. data starts showing the decline as well, it gives further support to the oil-market rebalancing story and that the OPEC deal is working". At the start of the month, the US crude oil demand rallied to 179,000 barrels per day.

According to Opec, Iraq agreed to cut production by 210,000 bpd to 4.351mn bpd.

Iraq plans to increase its oil output capacity to 5 million barrels per day before the end of the year, but Baghdad has assured OPEC it will fully comply with the pact to cut oil supply, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi and OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said on Sunday.

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